SARASOTA — Make your mess a message.
Lucimarian Roberts instilled those inspiring words in her daughter, so Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts did just that, sharing her medical battles — breast cancer in 2007, a rare blood disorder in 2011 — with her admiring viewers.
"Everything I shared, it was only in the hopes of helping others, to put a face on living with cancer," Roberts told nearly 1,000 supporters at Friday's Dick Vitale Gala at the Ritz-Carlton.
Roberts was saluted along with Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and former Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan. She aptly noted the gala celebrated so many who turned their messes into messages.
Vitale, an ESPN commentator and passionate advocate, has held the event for 11 years to raise money for the pediatric arm of the V Foundation.
He also raises spirits for those who have survived the disease and for those who have soldiered on after losing children.
Twelve youths who are currently cancer-free were recognized including Tampa's N'Jhari Jackson and Clearwater's Cole Eicher, two teens who are now raising funds to help others.
Vitale made his message emotional, noting only 4 cents of every cancer research dollar goes to combat pediatric cancer.
In the end, Vitale announced the event netted $2.75 million, but as Roberts noted, helping can involve more than dollars.
"Everybody has something to give, a gift or a resource, to help someone get through something," Roberts said.
Big galas and big dollars may lead some to think they have nothing to offer, but if that feeling prevails, just dig a little deeper.
That's all I'm saying.